Helle Lyng Svendsen
Interview with Helle Lyng Svendsen
Picture and personalia
- Born: 1997
- Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration
- Position: Journalist at Nettavisen
"All people involved with the case society at BI are highly invested. This is by far the coolest Club at BI with the best opportunities."
When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
I was an active case student throughout 2019 at BI Oslo.
Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?
During my bachelor I had a lot of friends in the BBA programme that were active in BI Case and were great ambassadors for the club which had spiked an initial interest. Further on, I wanted to see how consultancy can work in practice and get a more “hands on” experience. In addition, this is great for resume building.
What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
Lefta Consulting. I was first approached by a student from another programme that I knew from BI Athletics. Together we found our two last teammates to compete in the BI Case Challenge.
Did you have a specific role on your team?
I think I was the coordinator of the group and the “Cheerleader”. During case work, I would work on and present either one of our strategies or marketing.
Which case competitions did you take part in?
First, I participated in the BI Case Challenge in spring 2019. Then my team got to go to NHHs Case Competition. The week after, we went to Deloitte`s case competition (and won) and at last I participated with another team in Munster International Case Competition in Germany. These three competitions were all in October 2019 so it is safe to say that studying was not the main priority during this month.
What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
It is quite difficult to pick one. During the International Case Competition at NHH in Bergen, we were approximately 13 teams from many different countries of the world (USA, Australia, China, Ireland, Denmark, Romania and of course Norway.
There was a great mixture of people and we had such a good time working with the case competition, but also during the dinners and the other social activities. Our team became good friends with the students from the University of Glasgow and the students from Georgetown University in the US. Therefore, the networking and the new friendships was definitely one of my best memories.
What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?
- After NHH case competition, I went almost directly to Munster with another team from BI as one of their teammates could not go (Lucky me). This is one of my key takeaways because I got to experience German business culture and how it differs from Norwegian. This was a completely different competition:
- The competition had two cases (One 4-hour case and one 10 -hour case) vs. NHH that had one 24-hour case.
- The judges’ style and communication were quite different during the Q&A and I found German judges a lot more intimidating in a way which was super interesting.
- This competition was open for both bachelor and master students, so the competitions average age was probably at 25-26 whereas in Bergen we were probably all somewhere between 20-22 years old.
- This competition also had countries participating from other sides of the world than NHH, for example Lebanon, Canada, Switzerland and Dominican Republic. These cultures were completely different from the cultures I experienced in Bergen. The intensity of this competition was also more present. As the contestants were older, they also had an increased pressure to place and perform. Some even mentioned that if they did not make it to either 1st or 2nd place, they could risk losing their jobs. Obviously, that was quite different from the pressure I experienced and the only problem with not placing would be the disappointment you experience as an individual and as a team. Luckily, BI does NOT take away your spot as a student if you do not place.
- The experience of jumping from one team to another was valuable. It made me more adaptable and it also taught me how to cooperate under pressure with people you have never worked with before. In that team I came in as a “Sub” and therefore “played on their turf” as I was not initially supposed to be there. I had to learn how to “take up more space” in a team where you are the new person. In addition, I was also the only girl, so I felt an internal pressure to perform.
Most case teams I have met, usually have three boys and one girl in their team. Although that is not the case always, it still adds a little push for us ladies to “have our elbows out”. So as a new person it was quite difficult at first, because they had their way of doing things and their approach to solving cases was also new to me.
(However, I liked theirs much better when I got used to it). It is your job as a new member to provide your point of view and add value to the team. In order to do so you must be adaptable, but also not be afraid to speak up and disagree.
I really liked cooperating with this team, and they made me feel extremely comfortable in doing so. We did well during the 4-hour case which was the first time we all worked together as a team, but we fell out of the race during the 10hour competition.
- The work we do at BI prior to competitions was also highly appreciated. The faculty at BI really do invest in providing you with resources, guest speakers and cases that make you prepared to compete. We had professors from the faculty of communication watch and evaluate our presentation technique, we had former cases members working in financial services teaching us how to correctly project numbers as this was often difficult to know how to do and which statistics to use.
In addition, there were also students at BI working part time that had been through the same competitions we were attending and could give us a few tips and tricks. At last, the case trainings each Tuesday at BI was so much fun. It is always fun having a barbeque session with your old math teacher, Svein Lund. We got to see the “stricter” version of him.
What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?
Adaptability, cultural awareness, time management and performing under pressure.
Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
Go for it! My only regret is waiting till the second semester of second year. Go to the intro sessions and see if you like. Ask the advisors. Hilde and Marielle are super friendly. I got to travel with both on case competitions and I do not think BI can find better people for the position as coaches and coordinators. All people involved with the case society at BI are highly invested. This is by far the coolest Club at BI with the best opportunities.